The new European Fiscal Compact treaty was signed by all European Union members except the Czech Republic and Britain in March this year. Within the treaty is a commitment to keep government debt to below 60% of GDP, and to reduce it if it breaches this level, or face a fine of up to 0.1% of GDP.
The countries coloured in yellow, orange or red, are currently in breach of this rule, according to the latest data from Eurostat. With most of those still overspending by 3% of GDP a year or more, there could be a lot of penalty tickets being issued.
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